A new infographic from the Longitudinal Survey of Australian Youth presents findings from their 2019 interviews, when those interviewed were, on average, 19 years old.

The infographic looks at their levels of engagement with study and work, their desire for different work, and the type of study they are doing.

Almost all (91%) were fully or partially engaged in work, study or training. 69% were fully engaged, which meant they were working or studying full-time, or were combining part-time work with part-time study. 22% were working or studying part-time. The remaining 9% were unemployed or not in the labour force and not studying.

More males than females were working full-time (26 vs 16%), while more females than males were working part-time (58 vs 44%). The percentages were about equal for those who were working but whose hours of work were unknown (7 to 8%) or were unemployed (12 to 13%). On the other hand, males were more likely not to be in the labour force (11 vs 6%).

The nature of the work is interesting, too

When asked if the job they currently have was work they saw as a ‘career job’, more males than females saw their current job as a career (27 vs 18%). However, most females (71%) did not see this job as a career, while 59% of males also felt the same way.

When looking at whether the job was full- or part-time, 51% of those in full-time work saw it as a career job (and 32% didn’t!). By contrast, if their current job was part-time, most (79%) did not see it as a career job, while only 11% did.

About 10% are doing ‘gig work’, that is: work where they do not have set hours and get paid per task rather than an hourly or weekly wage. Most often this work involves baby or pet sitting/walking, doing cleaning or laundry, or performing tasks online. Some gig workers are even singers or photographers!

Their current studies

Uni is more popular with females than males (48 vs 38%), while VET is more popular with males (22 vs 13%). Apprenticeships and traineeships are also more popular with males studying VET than females (14 vs 3%). Approximately equal proportions of males and females are not studying for a qualification (40 vs 39%).

How healthy are they feeling?

Bearing in mind that this survey was done before COVID hit, 82% felt that their heath was good, very good or excellent, but males were more likely than females to feel in excellent health (24 vs 15%). About 10% said they had a health problem that affected their ability to work or study, and this was more likely for females than males.

Around 55% said they exercised at least three times a week, and 20% of males said they exercised every day in comparison to 10% of females.

Finding out more

The LSAY survey tracks young people aged 15 to 25 as they move from school into further study, work, and other destinations. It looks at social background, student achievement and aspirations, attitudes to school, vocational and further education studies, employment and job seeking and their satisfaction with various aspects of life.

You can access the LSAY website and its range of publications, including infographics, briefing and discussion papers, and research reports here.